By: Brian DeVault

When beginning your search for an IT Helpdesk Vendor, it is important to prepare the questions you would like answered so you can make the most informed decision for your business. At NETRIO, we appreciate when prospective clients ask us in-depth questions that allow both of us to assess how we can create a successful relationship.

About the Company  

Firstly, ask about the company itself. In order to narrow down the companies you have an interest in working with, it is important to understand the company you will be partnering with.  

  • How long have you been in business?  
  • What types of clients do you serve & what types of support are you providing to them?  
  • Financials – what is your ownership structure?  …are you profitable?  …do you have debt?  
  • How long have you been providing outsourced IT solutions?  

About the People  

In fact, a company is only as good as its people. At NETRIO, we place a lot of emphasis on hiring the right people who align with our culture. Therefore, when looking for an IT Helpdesk Vendor, make sure you familiarize yourself with the people who will be partnering with your team. 

  • What types of certifications does your team have?  
  • How do you go about training new hires?  
  • What is the average tenure of your NOC techs?  
  • How would you describe your company culture?  

About the Network Operations Center (NOC) 

Above all, you should be prioritizing questions about the Network Operations Center. This is the bread and butter of the service being provided, and most likely where your decision will be made. For example, NETRIO is 24x7x365 and we do not outsource any services. Additionally, COVID-19 has proven the importance of a business continuity or disaster plan. Asking how the company handled the pandemic will be a telling sign if it is a good fit.  

  • Can I do a tour of your facilities?  
  • Where are your NOC(s) located?    
  • Do you offshore, outsource or sub-contract your support?  
  • What types of business continuity and disaster recovery plans do you have in place?  
  • Do you operate your NOCs 24x7x365?  …are they geo-redundant?  

Supporting clients and delivering on expected customer experience  

In addition, technical questions are very important. Understanding tools, types of software, and various levels of support the company is able to offer will guide decision-making when outsourcing a helpdesk.  

  • What types of clients are the best fit for you?  
  • How are you equipped to scale as we grow?  
  • What types of systems, tools, and processes do you have in place to support multiple clients?  
  • How do you define various types of support (helpdesk, service desk, Tier 1, Tier 2)?  
  • What types of applications, devices & solutions do you support?  …are there any limitations?  
  • Do you offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for various types of support you offer?  

Customer Onboarding & Creation of Runbooks / Methods of Procedures (MOP) / Customization and Flexibility 

Lastly, the success of any project starts with a strong foundation –  proper due diligence up front is critical to the success of the overall experience and can make a big difference in minimizing impact to the business during and after a transition. 

If you decide that a company seems to be a good fit, it is time to move to onboarding questions and what customization and flexibility the company is able to provide.  

  • What is your process for onboarding of new clients?  
  • How do you create a runbook / MOP, and how do your NOC techs use them to support our clients? 
  • Will you adapt to my already defined processes & systems?  
  • How are MOPs used to refine and improve the client experience over time? 
  • Will you integrate into my ticketing & other systems?  
  • How do you measure the success of our engagement?  
  • Can your system customize how you handle tickets & alarms (by time of day, type of ticket, etc.)?  

In conclusion, after thoroughly vetting the companies you are interested in, it is time to analyze the answers you received and decide if they are satisfactory. Moreover, building a partnership with a Managed Service Provider is about trust and level of support provided. The company you pick will be responsible for being an extension of your business and assuring the operation runs smoothly.   

If you are in the market for Managed IT Services, NETRIO has you covered. Our team of experts staffed 24x7x365 by US based resources can proactively service your technology support requirements. Since 2003, NETRIO has been delivering enterprise class technical services to businesses globally. Get in touch with us today!